DISCLAIMER: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and all characters are property of NBC and Dick Wolf.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

By Eyah


Part 1

Detective Olivia Benson leaned back comfortably in her chair. She drummed the fingers of one hand on the scarred wooden table in front of her. She had met Munch and Fin for drinks after work. Olivia had kept pace with their three beers each.

She studied the woman across the bar who had been giving her the eye. She was a tall redhead, but her lipstick was a little too bright. She had a nice body, but her clothes were a little too tight. Olivia watched the woman glance over at her and then head for the front door. The woman was not really her type; Olivia's taste seemed to run to blondes these days…blondes with clear blue eyes. Before she could stop it, ADA Alexandra Cabot's face appeared in her head. Olivia chased it out just as fast. Get over it, Benson, hell, you just saw her having dinner with Trevor Langon a couple of weeks ago. She is obviously straight.

"I'm taking off." Olivia said to Munch and Fin. She pulled on her leather jacket and made her way to the door. As she stepped outside, she braced herself against the cold air. The redhead was leaning against the wall outside the bar. When Olivia stepped out, the redhead approached her.

Assistant District Attorney Alexandra Cabot hurriedly paid the cab driver and got out of the car. She was running late. She was supposed to meet her boss Liz Donnelly for drinks 30 minutes ago. As she stepped out of the cab she saw a familiar figure exit the bar. She saw the dark haired detective shove her hands in the pockets of her leather jacket. Just as Alex was about to call out to her, she saw a tall redhead approach her. She watched as they stood close together and talked. They turned away and began walking down the street together. Alex started towards the front door, she had made Liz wait long enough as it was.

Olivia slid out of the bed, trying to remain quiet as she pulled on her clothes. As she looked for her shoes, she stubbed her toe on the bedpost. "Shit." She hissed through clenched teeth. The form in the bed stirred.

"Stay. I'll make you breakfast in the morning." Hearing the sleepy voice behind her, Olivia looked up into green eyes. Shaking her head, she sat on the side of her bed and pulled on her shoes.

"I have to work in the morning." Olivia replied. As it was, she would get home in time to grab only a couple hours sleep and then get up and go to work. She felt arms coming around her neck as the redhead knelt on the bed behind her.

"Nothing I can do to convince you…hmmmm?" She purred. Olivia grabbed the hands and removed them. She stood and turned to face her.

"Sorry." Because she knew it was expected, she pressed her lips to the other woman's. "I'll let myself out." She said as she headed for the door.

Olivia was running late the next morning. She pushed through the doors of the squad room, having made it all the way to work without her morning coffee and without taking anyone's head off. She considered that a victory in and of itself.

Elliot leaned back in his chair and watched his partner drag herself through the door. A teasing smile spread across his face. He knew the danger of speaking to her when she came in like this, but he just had to.

"Rough night, partner?" He asked, with a chuckle. She held up her hand to ward off further questions as she walked by him.

"Coffee." She was only able to manage the one word.

She crossed the room to the coffeepot, where Alex was just finishing pouring herself a cup. She pulled down her mug and held it out expectantly towards Alex, who still held the carafe. Alex filled Olivia's mug.

"Good morning, detective." Alex had heard Elliot's quip, and a picture of Olivia standing close to the tall redhead outside of the bar the previous night flashed in her head.

Olivia heard Alex's greeting. She lifted her mug to her lips. As the hot liquid slid down her throat, she swore she could feel the caffeine pumping through her veins. She lifted her head, looked in Alex's eyes and offered a grateful smile.

"Good morning, counselor. What brings you down here?"

"I need to go over yours and Elliot's testimony for tomorrow."

"I'll go first, Alex." Elliot spoke up from across the room. "Just let me grab the file." Alex nodded and headed for an empty interrogation room.

Thirty minutes later, Alex came out of the room. She was about to go in search of Olivia, when the detective came down the hall. She was being followed by Fin and a shorter man.

"Hey, Alex. Can you hang out for a minute before we go over that case?" Olivia asked, stopping next to her outside of the room. Fin continued into the room and pulled the man after him. "Fin just picked up our suspect from the Redmond case. I need to be in on the questioning of this one."

"No problem." After Olivia went into the room, Alex slipped into the adjoining room. After all, if she was going to hang out, she could at least watch the detectives at work. As she watched, Olivia lowered herself into the chair across from the suspect. Fin leaned against the wall behind the man.

Julie Redmond was a college student. She had gone to a party with friends. While she was there, she had been raped and badly beaten. She was still unconscious in the hospital. The suspect was a member of the fraternity where the assault occurred. His dark hair was slightly shaggy, like he was overdue for a haircut. He wore a camouflage t-shirt and baggy cargo pants.

"So…Reggie…why don't you tell us what happened." Olivia placed her elbows on the table in front of her. Reggie leaned back in his chair and shrugged.

"I was at this party and this chick…"

"Julie. Her name is Julie Redmond." Olivia interrupted.

"Right, whatever. She came on to me. We had sex okay…but I didn't rape anybody."

"Did she say no?" The question came from Fin.

"Hey, man, she was drunk." Alex watched as Olivia's eyes darkened in response to his answer.

"Did she say no?" Olivia repeated Fin's question, struggling to keep her composure. Seeing Olivia's temper being barely held in check, Fin straightened from the wall. Alex's eyes never left Olivia's face when Reggie answered.

"Look, she had a lot of drinks. What does it matter what was said. I am telling you she wanted it." Olivia pushed back her chair suddenly as she stood. Alex tensed, wondering if she should go in there. She had seen Olivia lose it with a suspect before.

"Did she want to be beaten unconscious?" Olivia asked through gritted teeth. Out of the corner of her eye she saw Fin poised to move. For a minute she allowed herself to think about dragging Reggie out of his chair and slamming him against the wall.

"I want my lawyer." Reggie demanded. Olivia crossed to the filing cabinet against the wall. She picked up the phone from the top of it, and slammed it down on the table in front of Reggie. She glanced at Fin before turning and walking out of the room.

As she came out into the hallway, Alex came out of the other room.

"Ready?" Olivia asked her, as she concentrated on bringing her emotions back in check.

"Do you need a minute?" Alex saw Olivia consciously clenching and unclenching her fists.

"I'm fine." Olivia led Alex into an empty room.

Later that day, Olivia was finishing up work for the day when Alex came in. Olivia watched her stride across the room, looking as good as she had that morning. Olivia, herself, felt like this day had taken its toll.

"Hey, Olivia, I know you've had a rough day; I thought maybe I'd offer to take you out for a drink, let off some steam." Olivia ignored the part of her brain that immediately conjured up other ways Alex could help her let off steam.

"Actually, Alex I had something else planned to unwind after today." She saw Alex's expression start to drop. "But you're welcome to join me."

"Where are we going?"

"You'll see." Olivia replied, picking up her coat.

"I don't know about this." Alex's voice was hesitant. Olivia glanced over at her. Alex wore yellow tinted glasses. Ear muffs hung around her neck. Olivia stood close to her inside the shooting stall of the pistol range.

"Come on, Alex, where's your sense of adventure." She took Alex by the shoulders and turned her to face down range. Olivia's .22 caliber Beretta lay on the counter in front of them, unloaded. "I've got you using a small gun, no recoil to speak of." She lifted the empty gun and showed Alex how to hold it, curling her own fingers around the outside of Alex's. She demonstrated how to use the sights to line up a shot.

"Now…you want to keep your finger outside the trigger guard until you're ready to shoot." She then walked Alex through how to load and unload the pistol. "Make sure you clear the gun before you lay it back down. If I walk up to pick up your gun, we should both be confident that there is nothing in the chamber."

Alex tried to pay attention while Olivia walked her through the steps of firing the gun, while it was unloaded. She felt Olivia's arms around her as she showed her how to hold the gun. She felt the warmth of Olivia's body pressed against her back.

When Olivia stepped back, Alex was once again able to concentrate. She settled the ear muffs over her ears and ran through the steps Olivia had told her in her head. She picked up the gun and loaded it smoothly. She lifted it and took aim down range. She pulled the trigger one time, acclimating herself to the way the gun responded in her hand. She adjusted, and pulled off two more shots.

Olivia watched Alex taking two shots at a time. She paused in between to look down at the target. Olivia could almost see her mentally taking in the location of the last two shots on the target and adjusting her aim before she took two more. Alex was a natural. When she cleared the gun and laid it back down on the counter, Olivia stepped forward. She pulled Alex's target back to their end of the range. She nodded approvingly.

"Nice grouping for your first time."

Alex went through it a few more times before stepping back and letting Olivia have a turn. Alex admired Olivia's confident stance.

Olivia picked up the small gun, handling it was practiced ease. Olivia's hands moved with a fluid grace. Alex found herself admiring the efficient movements needed to load the gun. God, she is sexy. Alex was not surprised in the least at her thoughts. She had found the detective attractive since the first time she had laid eyes on her. She had heard rumors about Olivia's sexuality. The flirtation she witnessed with the redhead only further confirmed those rumors.

Olivia lifted the gun, taking only a second to sight her target, and emptied the clip. Olivia had no need for adjusting between her shots. She knew where each bullet was going before it left the gun.

"Detective Benson, did you execute a search warrant at the defendant's house?" Alex paced across the courtroom, stopping in front of Olivia as she sat on the witness stand.

"Yes, my partner and I served the warrant." Olivia noticed Alex's slim hands as she gestured while she asked another question.

"And what did you find?"

"We found a .45 caliber Smith and Wesson in the bedroom closet."

"No further questions."

Alex sat back down. The defendant's attorney stood and began to cross examine Olivia. Olivia turned to look at the jury while she answered his question. Alex studied her profile. Her eyes roved over Olivia's features. Her short brown hair, laced with lighter highlights curled slightly over her ear and at the nape of her neck.

Alex remembered Olivia standing close to her at the gun range a couple of days before. She remembered the feel of Olivia's fingers wrapped around hers, guiding her arms into position, showing her how to aim the gun. She had been apprehensive when Olivia had brought her to the range. But she had actually had a good time. She wondered if the attraction she felt for the detective was returned. She thought she had picked up on some signals over time, but wasn't sure. She decided that she may have to test that theory.

Alex strode into the squad room. She nodded a greeting to Munch and Fin who were on the way out.

"Where is everybody?" She asked Olivia, the only one left in the room.

"Well, you just saw Munch and Fin leaving. Elliot's son is sick. He's taking him to the doctor. Cragen had a meeting with the brass. That just leaves me." Olivia looked up from the file in front of her.

Alex approached Olivia's desk. Keeping her eyes on Olivia's face, she sat on the edge casually. Purposefully, she crossed her legs, causing her skirt to ride a little higher on her thigh. She saw Olivia's eyes follow the lines of her leg, then drop back to her desk. Hmmm…she filed away the reaction to consider later.

Damn, her legs just went on and on. Olivia stood too quickly, forcing the thought from her head. She grabbed her mug and crossed the room for a refill. What was she thinking? Not only was Alex straight, Olivia had a rule about getting involved with her co-workers. She would not break that rule…again. As she reached for the coffee carafe, the phone on her desk rang.

"Grab that, will you?" She called over to Alex. Alex nodded and reached for the phone.

"Special Victims." She answered. A female voice purred in her ear, asking for Olivia. As Olivia walked back over, she held out the receiver for her. Olivia gave her a questioning look, and Alex just shrugged. She took the phone.


"Hi. I was disappointed when I didn't hear from you." Olivia did not place the voice. When she was silent the woman went on. "I had a good time the other night, you know, after the bar." Olivia winced as it clicked…the redhead…what was her name…Lisa…Laura… something. Olivia hadn't given the woman her phone number…she must have told her she was a police officer. Getting her office number would have been no problem if she called downtown.

"Ah…yeah. I had a good time too. I've a…just been busy. Work, you know."

Alex saw Cragen come back, heading for his office. She gestured to Olivia that she was going to talk to him. She stepped away, not wanting to eavesdrop on Olivia's phone call.


Part 2

Alex read the paragraph for the third time, without understanding what it said. She finally relented that she was just too tired to concentrate. It was eight o'clock on a Friday night and she was sitting in her office trying to read a brief. She would just have to bring it home with her and get it done this weekend. She was straightening her office, preparing to do just that when her phone rang.

"Cabot." After debating letting it go to voice mail, she grabbed up the phone.

"You're still there." The smooth tones of Olivia Benson's voice greeted her.

"Yeah, I was just deciding I am not getting anything done here. I was about to leave."

"If you can wait a minute, I am on my way over there to drop off some reports for you."


"I'll be there in 5 minutes." Olivia assured her, not wanting to hold Alex up.

Alex hung up the phone, deciding to test her new theory a little further. She stacked the files she needed to bring home with her on the corner of the desk. She reached down and undid one more button on her blouse, not showing too much but confident Olivia would notice. When she heard the soft knock on the door, Alex leaned back in her chair. She called out for Olivia to enter.

Olivia stepped through the doorway with a pile of folders in her hands. Her eyes brushed over Alex in greeting and then flew back to the deep vee made by her shirt collar. Her gaze lingered there for a moment. When she heard Alex clear her throat, her eyes flew up to Alex's face. Realizing she had been caught staring, she blushed deeply.

"Um…here you go." Olivia hastily stepped forward to hand the folders to Alex. As she did, Alex leaned forward to retrieve them. This caused Olivia to be rewarded with an even better view. She could not stop her eyes from tracing back down the ADA's slim neck to her…

"Olivia?" Alex's voice interrupted her thoughts. Again Olivia dragged her gaze back up to Alex's face. Dammit, why was she acting like an adolescent? She was a grown woman, and a professional, and she had better start acting like it.

Alex stood and came around her desk to stand close to Olivia. Olivia willed her eyes to stay on the other woman's face. But the closer Alex stood, the harder it seemed to be to breathe.

For her part, Alex was quite pleased with herself. She believed she was proving that the usually staid detective was indeed reacting to her. She had watched with amusement as Olivia had struggled to keep her eyes from Alex's chest. Her amusement had slowly melted into arousal as she had approached the detective and stood close. The light, slightly spicy scent of Olivia's perfume teased Alex. When Olivia nervously licked her lips, Alex thought her plan may have backfired. She was certain she was going to melt into a puddle at Olivia's feet at the sight of that tongue running over her lips, and the thought of what that same tongue might do to her.

"Olivia, I haven't eaten all day. I was going to grab some take out on the way home. But, would you like to grab some dinner?"

"Sure, lead the way."

Olivia sat across the table from Alex in the darkened restaurant; she couldn't keep her eyes from occasionally drifting to the deep vee of Alex's still unbuttoned shirt. Alex noticed. Trying to decide what her next move would be, Alex realized she was enjoying this game she was playing with Olivia…the flirtation…trying to read Olivia's reactions…the arousal that seemed to constantly throb under the surface between the two of them.

They talked casually over dinner. Beginning with talk of work, then they slowly moved to more personal conversation. They talked comfortably, like they were old friends.

"I just don't have time for dating. By the time I get home from work I just want to unwind." Alex complained.

"I know what you mean." Olivia agreed. "Plus, I feel awkward making date conversation. It's not really like I can talk about my work over dinner with someone who doesn't understand what we deal with."

"So, you need to be with someone who does understand, a cop." Alex suggested. She left the word, or a lawyer, unspoken. Olivia immediately shook her head.

"I don't get involved with people I work with. I broke that rule once and it was a mistake." She said adamantly.

When their waiter returned to inquire if the ladies would like dessert, Olivia started to refuse, but Alex interrupted.

"They have cheesecake here that is absolutely heavenly." Alex insisted. "Share one with me." When Olivia nodded, Alex turned the waiter. "Cheesecake, two forks." He bowed his head and moved away from the table.

"You are not good for my willpower, Alex" As soon as the words were out of her mouth, Olivia realized the dual meaning of the sentence. Alex just looked at her for a minute, as if trying to decide whether to let the statement pass.

"Hmmm…I like the idea of being the one to tempt you." She practically purred. Olivia felt a warm flush creeping up her neck at the obvious teasing in Alex's voice.

Olivia was saved from having to respond when the dessert was placed between them on the table. She picked up one of the forks from the plate and toyed with it for a minute.

When Olivia didn't flirt back, Alex wondered if she had misread something. Olivia remained quiet, and Alex worried that she had pushed too much.

Olivia took a forkful of the cheesecake. When the rich, creamy dessert touched her tongue, she couldn't stop a moan of appreciation. She closed her eyes enjoying the flavor of the exquisite dessert. Alex heard Olivia's low moan, watched her eyes drop shut, and her mouth went dry.

Olivia was silent during the cab ride home. They had decided to share a cab and gave Alex's address first. Olivia's mind kept replaying Alex's comment about tempting her. She had assumed Alex was straight because she and Elliot had interrupted her at dinner with Trevor. Was it possible that she had been wrong? She glanced over at Alex who was looking out the window. If she thought she was having a hard time keeping herself from thinking about Alex when she thought she was straight….well…the idea that Alex might actually be attainable made it seem all the more difficult.

The car pulled to a stop outside her building. Alex stepped out, and Olivia, asking the driver to wait, followed her. She walked with Alex to her front door.

"Thanks for dinner, I enjoyed it." Alex unlocked the door and turned to Olivia.

"Me too." Olivia agreed. They said goodnight and, once Alex was safely inside her building, Olivia headed back to the cab.

Monday afternoon found Alex once again at her desk trying to finish up paperwork so she could head home. The weekend had gone by too quickly, but Alex had thought of Olivia often. The detective had been quiet in the cab. Had she pushed too hard? Alex felt guilty for intentionally trying to affect the detective. She finally decided the only way she was going to get an answer to the doubts swirling in her head was to talk to Olivia. She stood and headed for the SVU squad room.

Olivia rounded the corner at a full run. She was gaining on him. Her suspect was now only a few strides ahead of her. She pushed her legs just a little harder. Using the burst of speed and timing her lunge, she grabbed the back of his jacket and pulled back. As he slowed up she stayed at full speed, pushing him onto the hood of a nearby car. His hands splayed automatically on the car in an attempt to catch himself.

She leaned her weight on him, reaching automatically with one hand to the small of her back for her cuffs. With her other hand she grabbed one of his wrists. Pulling his hand behind his back, she snapped the cuff in place and grabbed his other hand.

Elliot pulled up in the car just as she caught him. He reached them as she snapped the second cuff in place. As she held him still pressed against the car, Elliot frisked him. Satisfied he did not have a weapon, they guided him to the car.

Olivia and Elliot pushed through the doors to the squad room, their still handcuffed suspect walking between them. Alex had been sitting at Olivia's desk. As they came in, she stood.

"Hi, Alex." Olivia and Elliot greeted her in unison.

"Hi, Elliot. Olivia, I wanted to talk to you when you have a minute. If you are busy right now, I can wait." Olivia looked at Elliot.

"Go, Liv. I can take care of this." He grabbed the man's arm and led him away. Olivia led Alex to an empty interrogation room. She lowered herself in one chair and gestured for Alex to take the other.

"What's up, Alex?"

"Olivia," Alex paused, selecting her words carefully. "Did I say something to upset you the other night?"

"No." Olivia did not look at Alex when she answered.

"Well, it's just that you kind of got quiet…and if it was something I said…or did." Alex persisted despite the blush that crawled up her neck and suffused her face. Before Olivia could answer she rushed on. "Because I felt like we were getting to know each other, and I enjoyed that. I like and respect you, Olivia." Alex reached out and covered Olivia's hand with her own.

Olivia hesitated, debating whether to brush this off or be honest. "Alex…I like and respect you too." Alex's thumb absently brushed across Olivia's knuckles. Olivia felt her body react to the simple touch. Instinctively, she turned her hand over and, curling her fingers, stroked Alex's palm. When Alex would have tightened her grasp on her hand, Olivia pulled her hand away. "I thought you were straight." She blurted out. Alex blinked in surprise.

"What made you think that?"

"Well, Trevor…" Olivia's voice trailed off, and Alex nodded in understanding.

"That was not what it looked like." Alex did not feel the need to offer further explanation.

"Alex, this would be easier if it was exactly what it looked like." Olivia said with a small smile.

"Olivia, if you're not attracted to me, just say so. I am a big girl, trust me, I can take it." Alex felt embarrassment rising within her. Had she been that wrong?

"I'd be lying if I said that. But I meant it when I said I don't get involved with people I work with."

After a moment Alex nodded. "Ok. But that doesn't mean we can't be friends right?" When Olivia agreed, Alex excused herself, saying she had work to get done.

Alex walked through the door to her own office with a small smile on her face. She had no intention of being just friends with Olivia Benson. She would just have to figure out how to proceed. She had heard all she needed to hear when Olivia did not deny an attraction, and she remembered the way Olivia's hand had curled into hers before she had pulled away. Alex was used to being the one to be pursued. However, Alex Cabot was not one to back down from a challenge. She might actually enjoy being the one to do the pursuing for once. Leaning back in her chair, Alex's smile turned into a self-satisfied grin as she began to plot how she would seduce the detective.


Part 3

Over the next few weeks, the two women fell into a routine. Alex sought Olivia out at least once a day. She had decided to proceed slowly at first. She invited the detective to lunch several times a week, sometimes inviting Elliot or one of the other detectives as well. She did not bring up the subject of their mutual attraction again.

They spent hours talking. Usually they began with work and gradually ventured into other things. Olivia talked some about her mother. Alex did not realize what a big deal it was that she opened up about this part of her life. She had known the detective was very different from her, in fact they were very much complete opposites from their appearance to their history, but that was what interested Alex.

Saturday, Olivia stood next to Alex in the hot afternoon sun. Earlier in the week Alex had invited her to the driving range.

"You showed me your sport. Now let me show you mine." Alex had said. Even though she referred to the day at the pistol range, Olivia caught a suggestive tone in Alex's voice.

"Olivia." Alex's voice brought her back to the present.

"What? Oh, sorry. You go first, Alex, and then I'll give it a shot." Alex nodded and pulled a driver from the bag behind her.

Olivia watched as she leaned over and pushed a tee into the ground and placed a ball on top of it. Alex looked gorgeous. She wore a perfectly fitting pale pink polo shirt, and khaki shorts that showed off her long, lean legs. Alex's hair was pulled back into a ponytail, but a few stray wisps escaped to brush her neck.

Alex stepped back, and standing close to Olivia showed her how she gripped the club, interlocking the pinkie of one hand with the index finger of the other. She approached the ball, all while explaining to Olivia about grasping the club firmly but not too tightly. She slid the club head behind the ball. She glanced over her right shoulder, choosing as her target the red flag down range. Alex continued talking about stance, as she settled into hers, flexing her knees slightly.

"Then…you just relax and rip it." She looked up at Olivia and winked before lowering her head again. With practiced ease, Alex slowly brought the club back and when her body was sufficiently coiled she swung through.

Olivia watched as the ball sailed over the red flag before hitting the ground. A glance at the chart on the wall told Olivia that the red flag was 250 yards out.

"Wow, I didn't know you had it in you." Olivia said honestly when the slim blonde stepped back and looked at her. Alex looked directly into her eyes when she responded.

"Olivia, what you should understand is that golf is not a game of brute strength. It is a game of finesse." She held out the club to Olivia.

"Something tells me that is exactly the kind of game that you are good at." Olivia replied, taking the offered club.

"With a little practice, you'll be ready to go out and play a round." Alex said laughing with Olivia as they stepped inside Alex's apartment.

"I don't know, Alex. Golf might be a little to…." Olivia searched for a polite word. "…civilized for me. But I did have fun at the driving range." She turned to face Alex and the laughter died in her throat as their eyes locked.

Alex took a step closer, Olivia stepped back. She felt her back press against the wall and realized she had nowhere else to go. Alex stepped towards her again, her body now inches from being pressed against Olivia's.

"Alex, please…" Olivia whispered, her voice rough.

"Please what?" Alex's blue eyes poured into Olivia's brown ones. She leaned forward, placing a hand against the wall on either side of Olivia's body.

Olivia swallowed, forcing the words past her lips. "Please…don't" Alex seemed taken aback at the words, as if she thought she had won Olivia's submission. She looked at Olivia for a moment longer, feeling her need with every breath.

"God, Liv…I just can't help it." She leaned forward and kissed Olivia. Alex felt Olivia's groan against her lips as much as she heard it. When Alex's tongue traced Olivia's lower lip, Olivia's mouth opened for her. Alex slowly explored Olivia's mouth, tasting her…while her hands, still pressed against the wall, kept Olivia where she wanted her.

Olivia's hands came up to grab Alex's shoulders, clinging to the them as she felt a wave of arousal sweep over her at the feel of Alex's lips against hers.

Alex felt the moment it changed, the moment that Olivia found the strength to control her reaction. Olivia pushed back on Alex's shoulders, pulling their lips apart and putting some distance between them. They stood there looking at each other for a second, their ragged breathing, the only sound in the room. Heat sparked between them as their eyes stayed locked together.

Wordlessly, Olivia turned from her and yanked open the door. She was gone before Alex could say anything. Alex leaned back against the wall, not knowing what she would have said anyway. She had been surprised when Olivia said 'don't.' She hadn't realized just how strong Olivia's resolve was regarding office entanglements. Alex had almost decided to back off then. However, she had seen the effort it had taken for Olivia to try to deny her, and then she felt Olivia react to her kiss and she couldn't have stopped if she wanted to.

Outside, in the hallway, Olivia too leaned against the wall for a moment. She ran one hand nervously through her hair. Her body still hummed from the encounter with Alex. She could still feel the other woman's lips against hers, the weight of Alex's body pressed against her own. Her breathing had begun to return to normal, but not so of the weakness that pervaded her limbs.

She's avoiding me, Alex thought. She had barely seen Olivia all week. When Alex did find an adequate excuse to go down to the squad room, if Olivia was there, she made an excuse and left. She had found a reason to turn Alex down every time she had asked her to lunch. And she did not return any of Alex's phone calls.

Elliot sat at his desk and watched Olivia angrily close the file in front of her.

"Something wrong, partner?" She didn't look up at Elliot's question.


"Come on, Liv. You've been in a bad mood ever since Cabot came through here." Twenty minutes ago, Alex had gone back to the interrogation room with Munch and Fin, leaving Elliot and Olivia alone in the squad room. Alex had tried to say hello to Olivia as she passed through, and got an icy response.

"Leave it alone, Elliot." He knew by her tone he should drop it.

"Okay, for now I will. But, if you decide you want to talk about this, let me know." Just then, Alex came out of the room down the hall. Elliot watched Olivia lower her head and become engrossed in the papers on her desk. Alex stopped next to Olivia's desk.

"Olivia, can I have a minute?" She glanced at Elliot before looking at Olivia.

"Actually, Counselor…" Olivia stood. She glanced in Alex's direction but did not meet her eyes. She grabbed her jacket off the back of her chair. "Elliot and I were just on our way out." She stepped around Alex and headed for the door. Elliot stood and grabbed his jacket. He met Alex's eyes and, shrugging apologetically, he turned and followed Olivia out the door.

"I guess you're not going to tell me what that was about…" When his statement was met with silence he went on. "Well, will you at least tell me where we were just on our way out too?"

"I didn't think that far ahead." She admitted, smiling. "Are you hungry?"

Alex dropped into the chair behind her own desk. On the walk back from SVU to her office, she had thought about Olivia's reaction today. Alex knew she wasn't wrong about their mutual attraction. She just had to convince Olivia that they could be good for each other. Her decision made, Alex pulled a number out of her rolodex and reached for her phone.

Elliot and Olivia returned to SVU an hour later. As soon as they came through the door, Olivia noticed the distinctly sweet smell of roses in the air. Munch and Fin looked at her expectantly as she approached her desk. On her desk, in a cut crystal vase were a dozen white roses.

"Secret admirer?" Munch asked. "Fin wanted to read the card, but I didn't let him." He added.

Olivia reached for the card. She slid out the small ivory colored card and read it. 'A peace offering. I miss you. Can we talk? --A' Olivia smiled. Eyeing the vase, she guessed she at least owed Alex a personal thank you.

"I'll be back in a bit." She said to Elliot, on her way out the door.

At the soft knock on her door, Alex looked up.

"Come in." She called out. The door opened slowly and Olivia leaned against the door frame. Alex gestured to the chair on the other side of her desk. Olivia entered and sat down.

"Alex, thank you for the flowers, they are beautiful. You really didn't have to."

"I wanted to let you know that I am sorry if my actions made you uncomfortable." Alex said politely. "I find you attractive, and intriguing, detective. I want to get to know you better. I also want to understand why this is a problem for you, Olivia." Alex watched Olivia wring her hands in her lap.

"Alex, I'm flattered. And…and I can't honestly say that I am not attracted to you. But…I got involved with someone I work with once. And as much as I am not proud of it, it was strictly physical. It was hard to work together after that. With you…" Her voice trailed off. Olivia realized she had been about to say 'With you it would be damn near impossible.'

"With me, what?" Alex prompted when Olivia remained quiet.

"Look, we have become friends. I want to keep that friendship intact. If that means fighting a physical reaction to you, then that is what I will do. I won't risk losing your friendship and a good working relationship with you, when things don't work out."

Alex nodded, deciding to let Olivia off the hook for now. She wanted to push, she wanted ask Olivia how she could be so sure that things wouldn't work out. She wanted to walk around her desk, pull Olivia out of her chair by her lapels and kiss her senseless. But for now she would bide her time.

Alex studied Olivia over the rim of her glass of wine. The SVU detectives were talking about their latest case. Alex had accepted their invitation for drinks, and when they started talking about work she took the opportunity to observe them. She watched Olivia cock an eyebrow questioningly as they threw around theories about motive.

Alex thought back to their conversation a few days ago in her office. Olivia had said that she had gotten involved with someone she worked with and it was just physical. Alex had heard the gossip and thought she knew what Olivia was referring to.

But what Alex wanted from Olivia was not just physical. As Alex's eyes slid to the detective's lips, Alex thought, Well, it was physical, but no strictly so. She was drawn to the detective's strength as well as her sensitive, caring nature. Olivia made her smile. She watched Olivia's strong hands toy with her own glass. Yes, Alex admitted, she imagined those capable hands touching her. But she also imagined what it would feel like to simply take one of those hands in her own.

A hand on her shoulder interrupted Alex's thoughts. She looked up to find Trevor Langon standing beside her. She gave him a polite smile and greeted him coolly. He nodded to the detectives and asked to speak to Alex privately. She stood and stepped away from the table with him.

Olivia had watched as Trevor put his hand on her shoulder. She watched Alex step away with him. He placed his hand possessively on Alex's elbow while he spoke to her. Alex had told Olivia that the situation with Trevor was not what it looked like. Maybe somebody should tell Trevor that, Olivia thought as she watched Trevor's hand slide to the small of Alex's back.

Elliot watched Olivia seethe over Alex's interaction with Trevor. He hid a small smile as Olivia's reaction confirmed his suspicions. If there was not already something going on between his partner and the ADA, there would be. He was sure of that.

Something was wrong. Alex looked at Olivia, who met her eyes for a moment, then looked away. Olivia had been quiet ever since Trevor came to the table. As they finished up their drinks and settled their tabs, Alex decided she would not give Olivia the opportunity to avoid her again.

When they got outside the bar, Alex fell into step beside Olivia. "Walk me home?" She asked. When it seemed like Olivia was about to offer an excuse, she went on, appealing to Olivia's cop side. "Please, Olivia…it's late."

Olivia nodded and turned in the direction of Alex's apartment

"Something wrong?" Alex asked after they had walked several blocks in silence.


"It just seemed like your mood changed after Trevor showed up."

"It's none of my business." Olivia said firmly. Alex wondered if she was trying to convince herself. They were silent for several more blocks.

As they approached her apartment, Alex hooked her arm through Olivia's. When she would have pulled away, Alex tightened her grip.

"You are coming inside and we are going to talk about this. I'm not waiting a week and having to send flowers again." She opened the door and pulled Olivia inside. She gestured to the living room.

"Sit." She said firmly.

"Alex, everything is fine." Olivia protested. But Alex gave her a stern look and she sat.

"No, it's not, Liv." Alex's voice was soft, as she sat next to her.

"Alex…" Olivia decided Alex was not going to let her off the hook. She may as well just tell her. Olivia stood and crossed the room. She stood looking out the window, her back to Alex. When she felt Alex come to stand close behind her, Olivia turned to face her. Taking a breath, she met Alex's eyes. Raising her chin a notch, she spoke. "When I saw Langon touching you, I wanted to break his hand."

Alex's breath caught at Olivia admission.

"Liv, there's nothing between Trevor and I. I haven't been able to think about anyone but you for months." Alex admitted.

Any control Olivia might have been holding onto slipped through her fingers. Olivia's hands came up to grasp Alex's upper arms. Moving quickly, Olivia pushed Alex's back against the wall. She crushed her lips against Alex's aggressively. When she felt Alex respond, opening to her kiss, she eased the pressure. She teased Alex, nibbling on her lower lip. When Alex leaned forward to deepen the kiss again, Olivia leaned away from her, keeping her mouth just out of reach.

"What do you want, Counselor? I want you to tell me." Olivia voice was rough with arousal. Alex tried to pull Olivia close, but the detective held her at arm's length. Alex groaned with frustration.

"I want your mouth." Alex said, trying to make a quick move, but Olivia was quicker. She let Alex's mouth barely brush hers, but she did not allow full contact. She was enjoying teasing Alex. She could not find the control to deny that she wanted her, or to pretend that she could walk away this time. But she found just enough to toy with Alex for a minute.

For all of her frustration, Alex was enjoying the game too. Olivia's teasing was causing arousal to curl tightly within her body. But Olivia soon lost her patience with her own teasing, crushing her mouth back on Alex's. Alex responded to Olivia's kiss immediately. It quickly became hot and fast. Alex's tongue slid against hers. Olivia's hands grasped Alex's hips holding them tightly against her own.

Alex had wanted Olivia for too long to wait. Her mouth grazed Olivia's cheek. When she took Olivia's earlobe between her teeth gently, she felt Olivia shiver. She moved forward, catching Olivia off guard, forcing her to walk backwards. Olivia felt herself losing the upper hand and thought about trying to regain it.

"Mmmmm…" When Alex's hand slipped under her shirt and found her breast, Olivia moaned. Alex pulled Olivia's shirt over her head. Her hands roamed over Olivia's torso. She looked at her pale hands against Olivia's darker skin as she ran her fingers over the tight muscles of Olivia's stomach. A moment later, Olivia's bra followed her shirt to the floor.

Alex turned and sat on the couch, pulling Olivia closer to stand between Alex's thighs. She leaned forward and ran her tongue around the edge of Olivia's nipple, feeling it react instantly. Her hands on Olivia's back pulled her even closer. When she sucked that nipple into her mouth, Olivia's back arched.

"Oh….God, Alex." Hearing her name on a ragged sigh spurred Alex on. Her hands reached for the fly of Olivia's jeans. She slid them and Olivia's panties over her hips.

Olivia stepped forward, putting one knee on either side of Alex's thighs, she straddled Alex's lap. Alex's hand slid between their bodies, slipping between Olivia's thighs. Olivia pushed her hands into Alex's hair. She pulled Alex's head up. She looked into the other woman's eyes as Alex slid two fingers inside. Olivia's breathing quickened.

"Liv," Alex breathed her name as she felt her fingers slid easily through Olivia's folds. Alex wanted to lay Olivia back and kiss every inch of her body. She wanted to taste the wetness that now coated her fingers. But Olivia had other plans as she rose up on her knees and began to move against Alex's hand. Alex let Olivia control the pace, deciding there was a time for slow and gentle later.

Olivia kept her eyes on Alex's as long as she could. Alex's fingers stroked her expertly. When Alex's thumb put just the right amount of pressure on Olivia's clit, her eyes slammed shut. She gave in to the force that lifted her and had her soaring. With a hand on either side of Alex's head she pressed her forehead to the blonde's. She forced her eyes open, wanting the connection, wanting Alex to look inside her and see the pleasure she was giving her. Their eyes locked and held. Olivia's breathing was heavy, she moaned Alex's name.

Moments later, Olivia slumped against Alex. She placed gentle kisses on Alex's neck. She slid off Alex's lap, leaning back against the arm of the couch. She pulled Alex with her. Alex curled up next to her, laying her head on Olivia's shoulder. Olivia idly traced circles on Alex's shoulder. Her body felt like liquid.

"Mmmm…." She couldn't stop the satisfied growl in her throat. Alex laughed softly.

"You sound pleased with yourself." Alex teased.

"Actually…I am pleased with you." Olivia corrected, she felt Alex's smile against her skin. Alex's hand rested on Olivia's stomach. She stroked her thumb over the underside of Olivia's breast. Olivia felt her body react instantly. She stilled the hand.

Olivia rolled Alex onto her back. "I think it's your turn to be pleased, Counselor."

Alex awoke to the smell of coffee. The other side of her bed was empty. She stretched, feeling a delicious soreness in her muscles. They had made love several times the night before. Once Alex fell into an exhausted sleep after a particularly intense orgasm, only to be awakened a short time later by Olivia's hands knowingly stroking over her body.

Olivia walked into the bedroom carrying two cups of coffee. She was only wearing one of Alex's t-shirts.

"I didn't know if you were still here." Alex said shyly.

"You know I can't function with out my morning coffee." Olivia slid back into bed beside Alex and handed her one of the cups.

Alex sipped the hot liquid. She knows how I take my coffee, she thought with pleasure.

"Liv…please tell me you don't regret it." Alex felt as if her heart would break if Olivia said she regretted their night together.

"No." Olivia did not hesitate. Alex breathed a sigh of relief. Olivia set her coffee on the nightstand and turned towards Alex. She reached out and took Alex's hand in her own. "Alex, I broke a big rule with you. But the thing is that I broke it before last night. I wanted you, Alex, more than I have wanted anyone in a long time. And last night was amazing."

Alex leaned forward and gently kissed Olivia. She leaned back and set her coffee on the nightstand as well. She turned back and gathered Olivia close to her. She caressed her fingers lightly over Olivia's forehead.

"Liv, you told me that last time you got involved with someone from work, it was just physical. This is not just physical for me." Alex spoke quietly.

"Alex, it has been so long since I had a relationship with anyone that wasn't pretty much all physical. But with you it's different. I can't define it any more than that right now. I need for us to just see where this goes. Is that okay?"

Alex looked at Olivia, considering her words. Olivia's face appeared in Alex's head, as she was the night before when she pressed their foreheads together and looked into Alex's eyes. She was so open, and Alex knew that this meant more than Olivia realized. That knowledge allowed her to give Olivia the space she needed. She nodded reassuringly.

Olivia lowered her eyes and caught sight of Alex's long, lean thighs which were barely covered by the silk night shirt she wore. And instantly her mind was back on the physical.

She pulled Alex close kissing her gently. She traced her tongue over Alex's lower lip. Alex surprised Olivia by quickly biting her lower lip.

"No. You teased me enough last night." She insisted.

"Really?" Olivia moved quickly, rolling Alex onto her back and pinning her hands over her head. "Suddenly you are not in a position to be making demands, Counselor." Olivia covered Alex's body with her own. Alex smiled at the teasing light in Olivia's eyes.

"If you're not going to read me my rights, detective, than anything I say will be inadmissible." Alex said, playing along.

"Hmmm… you have the right to this…" Olivia kissed Alex's neck. "…and this…" Removing Alex's shirt, she kissed her shoulder. "…this…" a warm, wet tongue on Alex's nipple, then dragging lower across her stomach.

When Olivia's tongue touched Alex's inner thigh, Alex's hand fisted in the sheets.

"Oh, God, Liv…I'll confess to anything…just don't stop." She said when Olivia's tongue touched her. She buried one hand in the back of Olivia's hair, as her hips moved against Olivia's mouth.

Olivia stroked her tongue over the sensitive bit of flesh that made Alex's legs go numb. She slid one finger inside of Alex and explored her. She gauged Alex's reactions, changing the pressure and speed of her strokes. When Alex's thighs tensed, and her breathing became ragged, Olivia lightened the pressure from her tongue and increased the pressure of her fingers.

Alex gasped, as her climax overtook her. Her body trembled, her throat arched as she threw her head back.

They were both late for work that morning. As Olivia rushed through the door to the squad room, Elliot looked up and gave her a look.

"Not my fault." She said by way of explanation. It was the truth, if Alex hadn't joined her in the shower she would have arrived in plenty of time. She didn't tell Elliot that Alex's wonderfully talented mouth was the reason she was late for work.

Olivia was laughing at Elliot's rendition of a conversation he had with his son the previous night, when Captain Cragen came out of his office.

"Benson, Stabler, get down to Bellevue."

"What's up, Cap?" Elliot asked as he stood and grabbed his coat.

"There's been an accident." Cragen approached them. "Drunk driver hit a couple of pedestrians in a cross walk by the courthouse."

"Captain, we don't do traffic." Olivia started to complain, but a look from Cragen shut her up.

"Cabot was one of the pedestrians." Olivia felt the blood drain from her face at his words. "The responding detective recognized her as our ADA and gave us a courtesy call. I want you guys there when she wakes up so she isn't alone."

'When she wakes up.' His words resounded in Olivia's head. Oh, God, she's unconscious. Olivia suddenly found it very hard to breathe. Elliot assured the Captain that they would take care of it. He ushered her out the door.


Part 4

Elliot stood outside the hospital room, looking through the window at his partner. She sat in a chair at Alex's bed side, where she had been since they got to the hospital hours before. Her eyes were dry now, but he had seen the tears well up in them when they had first seen Alex lying in that hospital bed. She looked pale and helpless beneath the starched white sheet.

"I came as soon as I could get away. How's Cabot doing?" Elliot turned as Cragen came down the hall.

"Doc says she has a head injury. He won't know the extent of her injuries until some of the swelling goes down."

"Has she been in there since I sent you down here?" Cragen asked, nodding to where Olivia sat.

"She won't leave her side. I can't even get her to go to the cafeteria for coffee." Elliot spoke softly. Cragen nodded, he slowly opened the door and entered the room. He crossed to stand beside Olivia, looking at the woman lying in the bed.

"Olivia, I'll sit with her if you want to go get a drink, take a walk, or something." He placed a hand on her shoulder. Olivia began shaking her head before he finished talking.

"No, Cap, I'm fine." Olivia's eyes roved over Alex's face. Sterile white gauze covered a laceration along Alex's hair line at the right side of her forehead. The doctor said it had taken 15 stitches to close the cut, but that since it was in her hair line, it would most likely be covered by her hair. Just in case, since the cut was on Alex's face, they had called in a plastic surgeon to do the sutures, to minimize scarring.

"Olivia, you've been here for hours. I'll be here if she wakes up, I'll let her know you'll be right back." Olivia didn't look at him.

"When she wakes up…" When, not if, Olivia thought. "I need to be here. I need…" Olivia's voice trailed off as her voice broke with emotion. Cragen nodded.

"I'll bring you some coffee." He headed for the door.

Olivia looked at him briefly and then turned back to look at Alex. She heard the door close with a soft click. Alex's eyes were closed, and Olivia missed their brilliant blue. Her face was pale except for the dark purple bruise that was forming over her right cheekbone. Olivia laid her own hand over Alex's where it rested on the bed beside her. She needed the reassurance of touching Alex's warm skin.

Olivia closed her eyes as the fear she felt when Cragen had told them Alex was hurt washed over her again. Elliot had ushered her quickly out to the car. He seemed to know that she did not want or need idle conversation. She stared out the window, willing herself not to cry, as Elliot drove as fast as he could to the hospital.

When they arrived, Elliot flashed his badge and a nurse directed them to Alex's room. As soon as they opened the door and Olivia saw Alex laying there, the tears she had been fighting came rushing forward. Elliot found her doctor and Olivia listened as they spoke in hushed tones. She heard the uncertainty in his voice. They could not know how she would recover until she woke up.

She had lost count of how many hours she had sat at Alex's bed side. She talked to herself, and to Alex, willing her to open her eyes. Alex was strong. Olivia took comfort in the steady beep of the machine that monitored Alex's heartbeat. She would fight. Olivia silently begged her to fight.

Her heart twisted in her chest and she hung her head, feeling the hot rush of tears behind her closed eyes once again. God, Alex, I have wasted so much energy trying to fight what I already knew, Olivia thought, heedless of the tears that slipped down her face.

"I love you." Her voice was barely more than a whisper. Olivia did not even realize she had spoken the words aloud.

Olivia dreamed of a hand running through her hair. She had fallen asleep in the chair, slumped forward with her head resting on her arms on the side of Alex's hospital bed. She opened her eyes, disoriented. At the same moment it all came rushing back, she realized the hand in her hair was not a dream. Quickly she lifted her head and turned towards the woman in the bed. Tired blue eyes looked back at her and Alex's hand which had been gently running through Olivia's hair fell back to her side. Olivia grabbed it in her own, enjoying the feel of Alex's fingers curling around her own.

"Alex." Olivia whispered her name. "How do you feel?" Alex stretched a little, testing her body. She winced as her muscles protested.

"I've felt better." Alex's head was pounding despite the pain medication she suspected coursed through her veins via the IV that hung beside her bed. She had opened her eyes about 10 minutes ago to find Olivia asleep at her side. She didn't want to wake the detective and was somewhat disoriented herself. So, she lay there playing with Olivia's hair trying to remember what happened. She lifted her hand to the side of her head exploring the bandage she encountered. "How bad?"

"Fifteen stitches." Olivia saw Alex's face pale even more than it had been. "Doc says it's not bad, Alex. It will be mostly hidden by your hair. But just in case, they got a plastic surgeon, he made it real neat." She squeezed Alex's hand as she saw tears form in Alex's eyes despite her reassurance. "Don't worry, baby, you're still beautiful."

Alex was surprised at Olivia's words. The tears that had gathered spilled over at the emotion in Olivia's voice. Olivia moved to sit on the edge of Alex's bed, gathering her in her arms.

"Oh, please don't cry, sweetie." Olivia held her loosely, mindful of Alex's injuries. She brushed the tears off Alex's cheeks. The feel of Olivia's arms around her fortified Alex. Within seconds she had stopped crying.

"Liv, I don't really remember…"

"Shhh, you don't have to right now." Olivia reassured her. But she felt Alex shaking her head against her shoulder.

"I need to, Liv." She started to take a deep breath and then released it slowly when the muscles around her ribs screamed in protest. "I remember…I started walking across the street. There was a tall man in a dark coat walking in front of me." She lifted her head and looked at Olivia with a question in her eyes.

"He didn't make it." Olivia answered her unasked question about the man who had been in the crosswalk with her. Olivia could not stop the ache in her heart at the thought that Alex could have suffered the same fate. Alex sensed it and tightened her arms slightly around Olivia.

"The next thing I remember is waking up and seeing you sleeping here." Olivia sensed Alex's need to fill in the blanks.

"Witnesses gave a good enough description of the vehicle. Uniforms stopped him a few blocks away. He was drunk." Olivia reluctantly released Alex and stood up. "Now, you need to rest." Alex looked at Olivia, taking in the dark shadows under her eyes.

"You need to rest too. How long have you been here?" Olivia ran a hand through her hair.

"I don't know…hours." She helped Alex settle back against the bed. She sat back down in the chair and took Alex's hand again. She took a breath, she had been reminded today how fragile life was. She remembered whispering that she loved Alex and wishing Alex was awake to hear her. It was time to make good on that. When she spoke, her voice was rough. "Alex…When Cragen told us…Elliot got us here as quick as he could, and when I saw you lying there…I couldn't leave you. I was so scared, Alex." She felt a tear slip down her cheek and she instinctively brushed it away with the back of her hand. She took a steadying breath and continued. "Alex, I couldn't lose you. Not when I had never told you…I love you."

"Oh, Liv…" Alex lifted her hand to Olivia's cheek. She slid it around behind Olivia's neck and pulled her close. She pressed her lips against Olivia's. It was a gentle kiss, not about passion, but about comfort. When they pulled apart Alex whispered, "I love you too."

The End

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